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Friday, February 08, 2008

SU Announces NCUR Plenary Speakers

SALISBURY, MD---A world-renowned biologist, a nationally acclaimed environmental author, an Emmy Award-winning television producer and a theologian with a particular interest in computer science—what do they have in common?

All will take the forefront as keynote plenary speakers during the 22nd annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) April 10-12 at Salisbury University.

The first plenary session is delivered by Dr. Tyrone Hayes on Thursday, April 10. Hayes is a professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Particularly interested in the developmental endocrinology of amphibians, he has conducted several revolutionary studies which have discovered links between the presence of pesticides and other contaminants in an environment and the development of local frog populations. This may someday provide inexpensive and simple methods for testing the safety of water supplies.

The second speaker, Thomas Horton, also presents on Thursday, April 10. Horton is an Eastern Shore native who is one of the nation’s most preeminent environmental writers. Earning the John Burroughs Medal, the top nature writing award in the United States, Horton has authored seven books about the Chesapeake Bay and covered environmental issues for The Baltimore Sun for 35 years. His works also have appeared in Rolling Stone, National Geographic, and The New York Times. A gifted speaker, his ties to SU are deep. His grandfather was T.J. Caruthers, after whom Caruthers Hall is named. He received an honorary doctorate from SU in 1996.

Rudy Bednar conducts the third session Friday, April 11. The recipient of 10 Emmys and four DuPont Awards, Bedner has been a television producer for nearly 30 years. Beginning his career at ABC on shows such as 20/20 and Primetime Live, Bednar has covered stories as diverse as the AIDS epidemic, the life of Paul McCartney, and the Exxon Valdez disaster, from locations as far-flung as the North Pole, the Amazon and Tibet. Bednar continues to produce and direct original documentaries as well as entertainment and music specials as director and executive producer for ABC News All Media.

The final speaker, Dr. Anne Foerst, presents on Saturday, April 12. Foerst is assistant professor of computer science at St. Bonaventure University, NY. She combines her interest in computer science with a theology background, having served as theological advisor to the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT. She investigates the connection between new media and religion and the place of theology in a modern world.

The plenary sessions are part of NCUR, the largest undergraduate research conference in the nation. 2,800 undergraduate scholars from some 400 institutions and representing more than 50 disciplines will present their research. NCUR presenters and members of the campus community are invited to attend the plenary sessions.

For more information call 410-677-5046 or visit the NCUR Web site at http://www.salisbury.edu/ncur22.



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